Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Panel #352
Diversity submission Special Edition Spotlight: Behavior Analysts' Role in Public Policy Advocacy
Sunday, May 26, 2024
6:00 PM–6:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 3, Independence Ballroom
Area: CSS/PCH; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Gordon Bourland (Trinity Behavioral Associates)
BERENICE DE LA CRUZ (Texas A&M University-San Antonio)
KENDRA THOMSON (Brock University)

Behavior analysts continually assess the needs of clients and the community at large. Some behavior analysts have educated themselves and become public policy advocates at the local, state, national, and international levels. Across the world, behavior analysts are meeting with legislators to educate them on behavior analytic solutions to societal problems, including but certainly not limited to why people need behavior analytic services. Incorporating a behavior analytic perspective into policies supports best practices in many areas and creates a more humane, reinforcing environment for all. Papers published in the special issue of Behavior Analysis in Practice on public policy advocacy demonstrate how such work has positively affected society globally. Such work has involved credentialing and regulation of behavior analysts, funding for ABA services, and increasing service capacity. Panelists will discuss their public policy advocacy efforts, share lessons learned, and discuss implications for future efforts. Many behavior analysts may be unaware of the importance of being involved in public policy and advocacy and how they can make a difference for the benefit of society. Behavior analysts are urged to learn from the work described and adapt and apply it in their community.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

This panel is intended for professionals who are certified at the Bachelor's level and above.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the importance of public policy advocacy in their state/region; (2) describe one strategy behavior analysts can use to effectively advocate for their clients to impact public policy; (3) compare public policy advocacy efforts across states and across nations.
Keyword(s): advocacy, public policy, regulation, service capacity



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